If you have a friend who is dealing with a mental health challenge, this section may help you to better support them.
People don’t only need friends to discuss their problems with, they also need friends that can make their lives fun and enjoyable.
don’t gIve up on the frIendshIp!
Young people who have dealt with mental health challenges speak of the friends who stuck with them and those who disappeared.
Friends that stick around can play a key role in helping someone recover and move past their mental health challenge.
During the early stage of getting help, your friend may be spending a lot of time working on their mental health concerns and may be making new friends who are also dealing with mental health challenges.
It may seem like you’re losing a friend. Don’t worry, over time the friendship will likely return to what it was and will likely be even stronger.
Let your friend know that you care, and that you haven’t forgotten about them, even if they repeatedly try to push you away.
Your friend is still the same person so it's important to relate to them as you always have as this may help them to get well.
Help them to be involved in life and thinking outside themselves.
some thIngs you can do:
- Let your friend know you’ll be there for them no matter what.
- Stay in contact. Call them just to call them. Text them occasionally just to say you are thinking about them.
- Ask your friend from time to time how it’s going. Unless they want to talk, don’t make a big deal out of it.
- If your friend seems to be getting worse, ask if they are okay or if there’s something you can do. If you are really concerned, speak to a trust adult.
- Do small things to cheer them up for the moment.
- Make them feel like they are needed. Talk to them when you are upset about something or when you want to vent. Trust them with things that you wouldn’t tell just anyone else.
- Hang out with them. Invite them to go out and do activities you’ve done together in the past.
- People dealing with mental health challenges are often overly critical of themselves and may think others feel the same way. Try not to be critical of them. Instead, find times when you can acknowledge their courage and successes.